Arbor Research Collaborative for Health Appoints Chris Spera, PhD as New President & CEO

Seasoned business leader and researcher, Chris Spera, Ph.D, takes the helm at Arbor Research, succeeding retiring president, Robert M. Merion, M.D. FACS.

Dr. Spera joins at the conclusion of a leadership transition process initiated last year by former President, Dr. Robert Merion and the Arbor Research Board of Directors. With Dr. Spera’s appointment, Dr. Merion takes on a new part-time role as a Distinguished Research Scientist, in which he can continue to impact outcomes research and the lives of patients.

Arteriovenous Vascular Access–Related Procedural Burden Among Incident Hemodialysis Patients in the United States

Intervention rates were calculated using data from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) for patients in the US starting hemodialysis with an arteriovenous fistula or arteriovenous graft created during their first year of hemodialysis.

Transition Announced

Dr. Robert M. Merion, MD, FACS has announced that he will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Research Collaborative for Health by August 2021. The Arbor Research Board of Directors has appointed a Search Committee to lead the recruitment efforts for a successor. The position opportunity can be found on the Arbor Research careers page. Following the transition, Dr. Merion will remain on staff as a member of the scientific team.

2020 ASTS Vanguard Award

Our collaborator on the National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC) project, Amit Mathur, MD, transplant surgeon at the Mayo Clinic of Arizona, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2020 Vanguard Award from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), in recognition of his recent publication in Clinical Transplantation, “Return on investment for financial assistance for living kidney donors in the United States.”  This work finds that financial support for organ donors’ out-of-pocket expenses produces dramatic federal savings through incremental living donor kidney transplants, by transitioning patients off dialysis. 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Measure and Instrument Development and Support (MIDS) Contracting

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) selected Arbor Research Collaborative for Health as one of 31 organizations across the United States to carry out up to $1.6 billion in contract work related to health care quality measurement over the next decade. CMS designed this contracting vehicle to fund work that promotes improvements in both the quality of care and outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries and in the overall efficiency of the Medicare program.

The DOPPS Approach to Improving Patient Care

Dr. Friedrich Port is the 2014 recipient of the National Kidney Foundation’s David M. Hume Memorial Award. To mark this milestone in his career, Dr. Port reflected on the approach of the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS), which he helped to design, launch, and maintain since 1996. Dr. Port’s paper “Practice-Based Versus Patient-Level Outcomes Research in Hemodialysis: The DOPPS (Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study) Experience” was published in the American Journal of Kidney Disease.


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